DECA collects career clothes for MSD students


Anna Horowitz

Junior Arizel Corniel arranges one of the four donation bins on campus for the DECA career clothes donation project. As a DECA advisor, she has taken on a role to help organize the donation project for the chapter.

Cypress Northcraft, Writer

Distributive Education Clubs America is a program offered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and others across the country, for students to learn about business. It encourages the development of leadership and business skills through academic conferences and competitions. A part of the program consists of days called “career closet” where students dress in business attire as a grade, however DECA educators noticed that not all of students can afford proper business attire and had to discontinue them at MSD.

To help students and others who cannot afford business attire, as well as have DECA students get hands-on business organizational skills, DECA has decided to conduct a donation project collecting any and all business attire including slacks, blazers and blouses during the month of October.

“We noticed that this was a problem in a community where the average household income was over 200,000, so we couldn’t imagine how severe this issue would be in lower-income communities,” Ariziel Corniel said.

There are four donation bins located on the campus of MSD all in the DECA advisors room. DECA also has one bin at Plaster Carousel for the general public to donate to.

“We were inspired to start this initiative because, since the beginning of the DECA chapter here at MSD in 2005, students in DECA have had one casual and one professional dress day every quarter,” Corniel said. “On these days, students would practice wearing proper business attire and be educated on what to wear in a professional setting.”

The head executors for this project are business tech Lisa Webster, marketing teacher Sharon Cutler, multimedia teacher Mckenzie Malone and business tech Mitchell Albert.

Founded in 1946 by Chris Kimbell and Michael Wayne, the association has been helping millions of students in America for 76 years. It originated from Berlin, Germany, but made its way all over the globe.

DECA is not alone in the process of collecting the attire. Many other clubs at MSD and people in the community are working together to help achieve their overall goals. The MSD Climate Change Club is participating as it aligns with the clubs morals to reuse. Multiple local Broward organizations will receive the clothes DECA is collecting.

“We are collecting new or gently used business clothing throughout the school year and collaborating with like-minded organizations such as Dress for Success, Broward Outreach Center, and Women in Distress to help as many people as possible,” Corniel said.

Over the course of the rest of the school year, DECA will be collecting the donations of retired business attire for students so everyone has an equal opportunity in the professional world.